"For an example of the significance of this point, let's take the debate over the existence of a gay gene. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the discovery of a so-called gay gene predisposing men and women toward homosexuality would not upset the identification of homosexuality with humanity's fallen nature, but rather such a find would affirm it. Moreover, such a find would be totally consistent with the classic orthodox Christian assertion that the Fall affects every aspect of our being."
I've read fundamentalist writings which argue against the use of psychology for mental illness because it is caused by sin and thus must be overcome by the individual. Many scientists say that there are indications that mental illness runs in families (which may or may not have genetic origins).
I personally do not think a gay gene exists, although there is the possibility that there might be a genetic type of mental illness that causes an individual to have difficulty coping with societal norms.
I'm wondering if a genetic inheritance or problem can really be considered part of man's fallen nature because obviously, we do not consider physical disabilities to be so. Or do we?
That being said, I agree that the Church must follow scripture and that we must love the sinner but hate the sin.
I will finish reading in the morning. Thank you for posting this.
In a general sense, all physical disabilities or sicknesses are resultant of sin...in that we all live in a fallen world. Human nature, in all its parts is affected by our inward falleness--but that doesn't mean, for example, that inherited problems--be they physical or psychological, indicate that one person or family is "especially" evil or cursed--ALL of us are sinners.
This writer is saying something I've maintained for a while, that the nature vs. nurture debate on the causes of homosexual desire is really a non-issue. I'm a firm believer in classical theology on this though...that old doctrine of original or "in born" sin. Many evangelical Christians of the more Methodist or Arminien stripe though reject this (biblical) doctrine out of hand--hence they feel a need to prove no one could be born with a tendency to have homosexual desires--or else, they say, God would be creating sin.
The fact of the matter is though, except in God's providence NONE of us is directly created by God--we are born, the products of countless generations of flawed genetics. We inherited a fallen nature from Adam and Eve--and physically we also have inherited certain other problems too (weaknesses toward heart disease, cancer, arthritus, bad eyesight, etc. etc. depending on who you are...) and amoung those problems we get from our parents are certain patterns toward certain sins.
A comparison to alcoholism is appropriate: It is well known the tendency to drink too much runs in families...it's a burden those of us with certain Celtic roots have to bear--however, we acknowlege drunkeness as a problem, and actually yes a sin..to be turned away from, and given to God. Why society cannot have the same attitude toward sexual issues, I do not understand, except that the '60s generation seems to think that sexually we MUST have whatever we want, no matter what the consequences. That sounds like animal life to me, not that of a dignified human being.
Anyway, though I tend to believe that nurture has at least as much to do with homosexual desire as nature...still, human nature in every one of us is flawed, of a sinful "orientation" and in need of redemption: Jesus' cross and resurrection are the only answer.